Driving home from work today, I found myself fighting hard not to fall asleep at the wheel. The grey downpour and the if-I-can-only-catch-up constant grading today, I guess.
I have so much grading to do, in all of my six classes, the amount of it makes my head spin. And, what with this whacky winter’s last hurrah weather, this week that head spinning’s been literal.
What I’ve been grateful this week:
1) My friend Jason Henderson was able to be the guest speaker at the SKD Professional Writer’s Lecture series this past Tuesday. Topic: Being a freelance writer, especially a freelance comic book scriptwriter. And, even though it would have been lovely to have more people attending, with the small group of folks there, the lecture turned easily into a small-group Q&A session. What with the snackies there, the whole thing reminded me of those graduate student cocktail party gatherings I used to go to when I was studying for my doctorate.
I was glad to provide this opportunity for the students there, a slice of what real college life is like, outside of the classroom. No small feat in the commuter-student world of a community college. Jason had a lot of fun, and even the Media guy (the guy who helped with the PC and data projector set-up) sat down, listened, and talked horror-novel fan-talk with him afterwards.
2) On a more personal note: One of my former Composition I and II student (who got his Associates degree and transferred to a local four-year university to study art) has been emailing me, giving me updates about his stage-three skin cancer. It has been surreal, as the last time I saw him was in December, when he swung by my office to say hey and offer to volunteer for any SKD events that come up (he was a member of the local chapter here at Eastfield when he was an Eastfield student). A big guy, lots of energy, with a full head of shaggy hair (which was funny to me, as he had kept it short when he was my student).
Earlier this week, he sent out his “how I’m doing” email to his friends and family (I’m honored and humbled that he includes me in that group). He’s in chemo now, in that awful process of finding the best cocktail of poisons that will kill his cancer. He’s starting to lose his hair, which means back to the buzzed-cut guy that I knew last year.
I thought of him during Jason’s presentation — he really would’ve liked it.
Students like him and opportunities like the SKD lecture remind me of just how lucky I am in having this job I have, even with the constant conveyor belt of grading and lesson-planning and dealing with less-than-ideal students.
But, I must say, Spring Break (which is next week) can’t come fast enough. For once this semester, I would like to be caught up with all of this grading and returning students’ emails, something I used to be able to do easily enough, in my pre-mommy days.
For after Spring Break — oh my! Between the three committees that I’ve found myself on (that haven’t met yet but WILL), the SKD student photography and writing contests that I’m coordinating in late March, the Asian-American cultural panel that I’ll be on in April, and the SKD membership drive and new members’ induction ceremony to plan and hold in May — breathe — I gotta get the Sword of Damocles called “late grading” out from over me.
… Is that even correct prepositional usage? “Out from over”?
Obviously, it’s time for BED.